By now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of species of special tropical plants for the home. Whereas in the rainforest they simply occur in the wild, here they are collected. For example, we are already familiar with the Monstera deliciosa variegata and the Philodendron adansonii variegated aurea. But more unusual tropical plants are popping up every day. Often green plants are easier to care for than variegated plants. Why that is and how you can best care for a variegated plant you can read here:
Why is variegation often more easily damaged?
Variegation in plants is usually an accidental "deviation" in the DNA of the plant. A Monstera Variegata, for example, produces no green pigment in its leaves at certain places. This makes the leaf whiter in those areas than in others. The advantage of this is the beautiful white patterns on the leaf. These patterns are usually unique per leaf and give each plant a beautiful and unique look.
But a disadvantage is the vulnerability of the white area on the leaf. This is caused in the Monstera Variegata by a lack of chloroplasts. Leaf chloroplasts, together with the other organelles in the leaf, provide the firmness of the leaf and the energy the plant needs to grow.
How do I keep the spots in my plant's new leaves?
It is difficult to keep the spots in the plant nice and neat looking. This has to do with the vulnerability of variegata. Dit heeft te maken met de kwetsbaarheid van variegata. The fewer chloroplasts there are in the leaf of, for example, a Philodendron Jose Buono, the more sensitive the leaf is.
If, for example, a Syngonium Red Spot Tricolor only starts to make green leaves, you can prune the leaves to where there is still variegation in the plant. This increases the chance that the new leaves will contain variegated grasses again. It often prefers to grow out of the leaf axils of a leaf that contains variegation.
The plant can also slowly lose its variegate when it is given incorrect care. Think of a too dark position in the house or a too cold place. Usually plants with variegata like a somewhat lighter habitat than other (green) plants. But take care that the spots do not burn because of direct sunlight! A variegated plant almost always needs filtered, indirect sunlight.
How do I prevent damage from care?
A lot of damage is caused by carelessness of the attendant of the plant. Damage can especially occur during watering, at the wrong temperature or in the wrong place in the house.
When watering, a drop of water on a leaf in combination with bright sunlight can cause a brown spot. A light misting is a good alternative. And it can also help to water the plant in the morning or evening when it is still dark or twilight.
Variegated plants are beautiful to look at, but can also be a bit more challenging to care for. We hope these tips will help in the care of your beautiful green friend. Some examples of extremely rare variegated plants in our assortment are the following: